I’ve learned there is something good about every where we’ve lived!
Posted by Carol on December 2, 2010
I’ve learned there is something good about every where we’ve lived!
Posted by Carol on August 11, 2009
Beginning several months before we moved to Colorado and continuing to this day, I have been in a bloggy dry spell. I blame it on the move – the physical and emotional upheaval that moving across the country (or even across town) causes.
But now we’re here. We’re all settled in. Mostly.
Just don’t look in my office – I haven’t organized that yet. Almost every file was dumped out somewhere between New Jersey and Colorado and I still need to go through about 20 years’ worth of papers and save what we need and shred the rest.
Ok, I’ll show it to you. It is actually much worse than the picture shows, you can’t see the area in front of the desk!
But other than that, I really want to get back to this blog. I miss it and I miss my bloggy friends. Problem is even though one would think I would have a ton to write about, I can’t think of a blessed thing.
So, last night on Facebook, I asked for suggestions and one of my younger friends said I should write about how much I love and miss her.
Good idea. Thanks, A!
Because the truth is part of my bloggy dry spell is being caused by homesickness for my friends in New Jersey. I am so thankful that we got to move to Colorado and live near family, but New Jersey was our home for 10 years!
I miss my church family at CBC so much that it’s hard to feel at home at church here. I miss my many friends that I could just pick up the phone and grab lunch or coffee with at any time. I miss my friend, S, that I could goof around with and then share my heart and pray with.
But, I know God has moved us here for a reason and He is using this season when I am the new girl to teach me to depend on Him for all my needs. When I am looking for a friend to talk to, I need to turn to Him. When I am frustrated with my kids and need advice, I have to turn to Him because there is no one here who I am close enough to to be that open with.
This newness hurts, but it is good. It is good for me to have only God. Of course, I have my husband and extended family, but I know God wants me to learn to look to Him first – to need only Him.
Soon enough, I will have a full calendar again and a church and girlfriends to go to lunch and coffee with. But for now, Jesus is teaching me some lessons that I could only have learned by being taken way out of my comfort zone of the familiar and plopped down across the country in a beautiful new place full of His possibilities.
Posted by Carol on July 19, 2009
I need everyone reading this post to start humming that tune now. You know the one. The obnoxious song from Disney World that will stay stuck in your head all day once you start.
I’ll wait til you’re all in unison…
Ok, now I can begin my story.
We’ve known since around January that my husband’s company was going to move us West. At first, they wanted to move us to Dallas, Texas. But, once Dear Hubby found out that he could possibly do his job from Denver, Colorado, he campaigned hard with his boss for that to happen. He grew up in Colorado and we have a lot of family and friends here, which made Denver a much more attractive choice for us than Dallas.
Back in New Jersey, for most of the 10 years we lived there, we attended the same church. Our kids went to Sunday School and Youth Group, and Hubs and I were involved in the Married with Children (not the official name) adult Sunday School class. I was also very involved with the Women’s Ministry at church. One of the benefits of being involved with Women’s Ministry is getting to know many of the women at church.
Now re-wind to a little over a year ago. We were still in New Jersey and the women of our church were away for the weekend at our annual retreat. I was (wo)manning the welcome table, greeting the women as they arrived. At a particularly slow time at the table, one woman (we’ll call her K) and I got talking. She shared with me that she and her family were moving to Colorado that summer. We discussed her move at length and she told me the area of Colorado they were considering. I was familiar with it because a) we have lots of family in CO, and b) we used to live there ourselves years ago.
I told K that my husband would be very jealous that they were getting to move to Colorado because it had always been a dream of his to get back there some day.
A few months went by, they moved West. K and I became Facebook friends and I was able to stay in touch with her that way. Through Facebook, I knew what town they had moved to, and what high school her kids attended.
Now, fast forward our story to this 4th of July weekend. We had just closed on our new home in Colorado and moved in on July 2nd. Apparently, our new neighborhood has a 4th of July party every year. This year, it was held on July 5th (go figure).
Being new here, we thought it would be a great opportunity to meet our new neighbors very quickly. So on July 5th, we marched ourselves right on over to the party, where approximately 60-70 of our soon-to-be closest friends were attending.
Hubby and I were chatting with several people when around the corner we spotted a very familiar couple walking to the party. We looked at them curiously, and they were looking at us with the same curiosity. All of a sudden the collective light bulbs in our heads went on when we all realized who each other were.
It was K and her husband from New Jersey! Not only do they live in our new neighborhood, but they live right across the street from us!
Like I said, I knew the town they had moved to and I knew their children’s school, but I did not know their street address. What are the chances that with the thousands of people who live in this town and school district that we would end up across the street from the only other people I know from New Jersey?!
And our former church?!
It IS a small world after all!!
(You can stop humming now)
Posted by Carol on July 16, 2009
Trying to put words to the whole experience of moving across the country from New Jersey to Colorado would not only be a very long post, but a very boring one as well. Instead, here are some pictures I took along the way to remember the experience by.
Our kitchen in NJ all boxed up.
The movers padded the doorway and protected the floors as they moved everything out.
Off they go to start the long trip from NJ to CO
Getting ready for our very long trip from NJ to CO
We passed St. Louis at around 6:30 am. Little did I know at this point that in a few short hours, I would get a speeding ticket in Kansas City. Thanks for the memories, Missouri!
Windmills in Kansas (almost to Colorado!)
And finally- the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (this is the view I see of Pikes Peak when I drive out of my new neighborhood)
Here’s Kobi – the only member of the family to get car sick on this trip and it was a lovely experience. He is actually the reason we drove from NJ to CO instead of flying. We didn’t want to put him under the plane after hearing too many horror stories from friends who have flown with their dogs.
Obviously, we all made it safe and sound. Most of the boxes are unpacked, pictures are hung on the walls (thanks to my husband’s brother and sister-in-law!), the kids have made a few friends, and I am trying to learn my way around a new town and a new grocery store.
Today while dropping some clothes off at the cleaners for the first time, the woman who worked there saw my New Jersey license plates and asked me about them. It turns out she is from Philadelphia and was tickled to meet someone from her neck of the woods.
I want to say that tomorrow I will tell you how it really is a small world after all, but we all know that lately my “tomorrow” means two to three days from now.
(But I really will try for tomorrow.)
(Thanks for your patience.)
Posted by Carol on June 19, 2009
When we first found out we were moving to Denver, I was feeling a little guilty to be so excited about it. We’ve lived in New Jersey for 10 years now (the longest place we’ve lived in the 23 year history of our marriage) and I/we have so many great friends, neighbors, and memories.
Yet, thinking about moving to Denver was exciting. My husband has 3 siblings and his mother that we will now be living near. We lived in the Denver area about 15 years ago and we still have friends that we are in touch with. And did I mention that Colorado is beautiful?
So back in March, April, and May if you asked me about the move I felt very brave and excited about it, yet still a tad guilty for not being sad enough about leaving NJ. How sad is sad enough, BTW?
(Have I ever told you that I am one-half Italian? Guilt is an ethnic trait of Italians.)
Well, I guess I worried about not being sad enough too soon because as soon as June hit, the countdown to the Big Move started, and the beginning of all the goodbyes began which, naturally, led to all the sadness.
The first goodbye was to Joyce, my hairdresser. I think only one or two other people in New Jersey has ever cut my hair. She has seen my hair long, short, and in-between. She introduced me to the wonderful world of highlights to hide the gray. Our sons have grown up together, only they didn’t know it. Joyce and I have traded stories about our sons every 6-8 weeks for the better part of 10 years. My last cut was June 4th.
And so it goes all around my town. I picked up my last load from the dry cleaners this week, and the Chinese woman who owns the shop (her name is Gina and I’m pretty sure that’s not the name her parents gave her) said “See you next time!” but I realized there won’t be a “next time” and I had to say goodbye to her.
But even more difficult than saying goodbye to all the familiar faces of the shopkeepers and bank tellers who I now know by name, is saying goodbye to my dear, dear friends whom I have done life with these 10 years.
I have by no means been able to contact every single person who has impacted my life in a meaningful way during our time in New Jersey, but I have been able to spend some time with some very special people in the last few weeks and days.
This has been a very tender time and I have not really been able to process it all properly because in the middle of all the goodbyes were the septic system replacement, cleaning and showing our home for sale, house hunting in Colorado, making no less than 5 offers on homes with nothing working out (well, I think this one will work, but I won’t stop holding my breath until after the appraisal), endless phone calls arranging this that and the other, and now, finally, actually packing up and moving out of the home where my little boy and little girl became a young man and a young woman.
There is a lump in my throat that I know is only going to grow as this week goes on and we pull out of our driveway for the last time on Thursday night.
I know that once the packers and the movers have done their jobs, and this house is empty, I will be able to close my eyes and remember all the friends that have graced our doorway, all the Christmas trees that brightened our family room, all the Thanksgiving dinners shared with friends and family around the table, and all the random days that have made up our life here for the past ten years.
And I will thank God for every one of them.
Posted by Carol on May 19, 2009
Yesterday, on the septic system front, the guys didn’t accomplish much.
All they did was connect this old septic tank to the new one below.
See, that’s all they did.
I probably should show you how the new tank got there in the first place.
That is the new septic tank all shiny and clean. Poor thing. It has no idea what its future job will be. See the guy in the orange Broncos cap? That’s Dear Hubby. He just wants to help. All this heavy equipment is like giant Tonka toys to him. He is beside himself with testosterone.
Guiding the new tank safely to its home.
Tank in place with its cover on.
That brings us to yesterday. Other than connect those two tanks, the only other thing they did all day long, was dig.
And then dig some more.
I don’t think they found Jimmy Hoffa, though.
But they came pretty close to finding China, I think.
The dump truck was in and out of here all day long and I didn’t want to risk getting run over trying to get a picture. I do have my limits. But after they left for the evening, I ventured outside and this is what I found in the Promised Land.
This picture does not do the hole justice at all. It is 8-10 feet deep and 47 feet long. I could just picture myself falling in while trying to get the shot and then not being found until morning when the guys came back to work. On the bright side, it would have given me something to write about.
To try to put the size of the hole in perspective, those trees behind it are 30-40 feet tall.
Tomorrow, the guys will be bringing truckloads of rocks and sand to put back into the hole they just spent the whole day digging.
Stay tuned for the next installment of “Adventures in Septic Systems”.
Blog writing at its finest, I tell ya!
Posted by Carol on May 16, 2009
As they say, “The grass is always greener over the septic tank”.
But, that is a little misleading. The grass is actually greener over the septic field where all the, uhm, fertilizer, ends up. But it is the blasted septic field that causes all the problems when a good septic system goes bad. It becomes saturated over years and years of use, and a new location for the septic field must be found. Presumably on your own property. Your neighbors will not usually be willing to take on the responsibility of your new septic field, as much as you might like to beg them to, nor will your town allow it.
The typical life of a septic system (at least in NJ) is about 25-30 years. Ours is 33 years old. So it is time to bid a fond farewell to a system we have used and abused over the years. And are paying several years of college tuition money to replace for our potential new homeowners.
If they’re reading this: You’re Welcome.
Without further ado, here are some before and after pics. Just in case you ever have to replace yor septic system, you can see what joy you have to look forward to!
Hi! That’s me sitting in the driver’s seat of the back hoe which they dropped off the evening before the carnage was scheduled to begin. Notice my blissfully ignorant smile and “thumbs up”. If I had only known what was to follow the next day…
This, my friends, is the Promised Land. The chosen location for the new septic field.
See how green the grass is over our current septic field.
Here’s a closer look before we say goodbye to this beautiful green grass. Because…
Here is the old septic field after they drove the back hoe (that I was sitting in blissful ignorance upon in the previous picture) across it to get to the Promised Land.
Here is a closer look. Notice all the absence of beautiful green grass. Oh wait, there’s a little in the lower right corner. My bad.
See those innocent bushes and shrubs. They have no idea what is to come. They must be moved so that the back hoe can get to the Promised Land to install the new septic field. Some will not survive the day.
Yeah. Here’s the after picture. The shrubs have been moved. We will try to keep them watered and safe until they can be replanted next week. I think they will need some prayers.
Well, that’s all for now folks. Stay tuned for the next installment of “Adventures in Septic Systems”.
Next time…”Let the Digging Begin!”